After somehow surviving my first week in Barcelona, I had a new challenge to encounter. My 21st birthday was coming up, and naturally, nobody was safe. I had a typical Barcelona night out to prepare for my 21st starting at Pacha and ending at Sutton. But Barcelona club life wasn’t enough. For the real celebration, me and Emily took our talents to Berlin, father of deep house and underground techno. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t that pumped for Berlin because I really didn’t know what to expect; but they always say the lowest expectations turn into your greatest moments. And I learned this to be very true.
Friday night we got all dressed up in black, sneakers and all, to try and get into one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, Berghain. For those who don’t know us, we’d like to think our edgy look was believable to strangers. But after waiting over an hour in line to only get flat out rejected, it was apparent that we screamed American girls trying way too hard. There was nothing to do now, but try another club we’ve heard of. We got a cab and took our talents to Tresor. After waiting in line for another wonderful hour, we finally made it inside. Of course Emily made friends with the bouncers, so we were treated like VIPs. We were having the best time prating our break dancing and stepping moves upstairs, we thought it was one of the coolest clubs we had been to. That was until some local asked us if we wanted to go check out the basement.
Normally, as the good Jewish girl that I am, my mom taught me to never talk to strangers, but we had heard stories of underground techno so we were dying to find out what else the club had to offer. When we made it downstairs, we were staring at a dark foggy hallway only visible by strobe light. I’m not going to lie, it looked like a scene straight out of a horror movie, but for some reason, we couldn’t turn away. We walked all down the hallway, down a few more stairs and found the Berlin we had been searching for all night. Imagine an old soap factory turned into a club. Now imagine the basement of that old soap factory, filled with people literally dancing their hearts out. This room was no joke, if you weren’t dancing, you had no business being there. So, just as the locals, we broke down and got weird. What was so awesome about this place is that everyone was here for the music. No one cared about who they were meeting out. Everyone dressed for comfort, not style and there were never any issues needing a promoter or having to buy an overpriced table. The Berlin vibes were right up my ally, and I could not have asked for a better place to turn 21.
The next day, we took a tour around the city. All day we were asking for directions to the Holocaust Museum and constantly were being corrected to calling it the Jewish Museum.
As two Jewish girls, we figured people were trying not to sound anti-symetic, but it’s hard hiding the fact that your country started one of the biggest mass genocides of all time. No hard feelings though. When we finally got to the museum, we realized it had nothing to do with the Holocaust at all. It really was just a Jewish museum, showing the history of Judaism and how it has grown and developed over the years. Not that re-learning everything I already learned in Hebrew School wasn’t oh so fascinating, but we were hoping for some deep emotional concentration camp history. None the less, we were happy with our decision to do something educational during our time there.
After our failed attempt at learning more about Germany in WWI, we decided to jump into the 1980’s during the Cold War to visit what was left of the Berlin Wall. It may have been snowing in our faces all day, but despite how cold we were, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the city. It was modern, industrial, and beautiful to say the least. We built snowman’s and ate schnitzel like the good wanna-be Germans that we were for the weekend.
After a day packed with activities, it was time for Berghain take two. We put the fake piercings back on, took off all our makeup, and got to the club before the doors even opened. After waiting in silence, hoping the bouncer would be nice and let us in, we of course got denied, yet again. What type of system was this? The man completely alone right in front of us was let in, but the bouncers denied two girls? We definitely weren’t in Miami anymore.
As much as we loved Tressor, we decided to check out a new place we heard about, called Watergate. It was a cool two story club, with funky music and great vibes right on the water. The music was great, the people watching was even better. But even after a few hours, we were itching for Berghain. It was our last night in Berlin, so what else did we have to lose?
We got in a cab and headed for Berghain where we hoped third times a charm would apply to us this time around. We got there at 5:00 AM (sorry mom), and there was no line at all. We walked through the snow, big coats and all, but again, we were flat out rejected. We obviously couldn’t end our night like that, so back to Tressor to finish off the morning. When we got there, the bouncers remembered us, and let us walk right in. Me and Emily ended up staying until they started kicking everyone out. Normally, I’m never the girl to stay that late at a club… ever. I’m the queen of leaving early to post game and eat pizza. But it was my 21st birthday weekend, we were only in Berlin once, and I was with Emily Katz, so safe to say you know what happened next. We left after sunrise to go back to the hotel and shower before our flight.
As we were waiting in airport, I couldn’t help but feel an overbearing sense of joy about our weekend in Berlin. It may have been because it was my 21st birthday, it may have been that I could wear sneakers to the club, or it honestly could’ve been the fact that I didn’t know a single person so I didn’t have any awkward birthday encounters, but Berlin will always have a special place in my heart.